Thursday, May 17, 2007

Lucas goes to school

Three weeks ago, my little man started a new chapter in his life. Five days a week, from 9 to 12:30, he spends his mornings at Jardin de Patri, playing and doing activities with 15 other 3 years olds and two teachers.

The preschool is an inviting place: spacious, bright and colorful, with lots of toys, and pictures on the wall. Lucas’ teachers, his seƱoritas, Ana and Karina, adore every single student, and everyone gets hugged and kissed on a regular basis. The curriculum includes P.E. class with professor Pablo, folklore class, where the children put on traditional Argentine clothing and learn about Argentine customs, excursions to a farm to feed the animals, and various fieldtrips throughout the year. This includes a camping trip. Yes, you read correctly: they take all the 3 year olds camping. As is the custom in Argentina, all the children where uniforms. In this case, it is a yellow and green smock that they wear over their clothes. It’s to help keep their clothing clean, and it is unbelievably cute.

The best part is that Lucas loves it. His first week, being the new kid, he got special attention from the seƱoritas, and now he’s totally enamored with them. Ana and Karina report that he is adapting well to the group. He especially loves snack time, because he has discovered the delights of warm milk sweetened with sugar. The teachers are amazed that Lucas drinks so much milk --three cups at a time. I’m not -- if it’s sweet, he’ll go for it.

Some of the other daycares we checked out had the kids on computers every day, learning how to manipulate the mouse and playing games. Technology, however, hasn’t much reached Jardin de Patri. There is only one computer in the building and it appears to be about 15 years old. It is used to print out little announcements for the parents that are then individually glued into each students’ notebook. All notes and recordkeeping are written out by hand in a huge book that looks to be from the 1950s. There are only two telephones in the building, answered by whoever is around. (There’s no secretary) With only one line, you have to go searching for the person.

Jardin de Patri is one of the more expensive daycares in the city --it’s setting us back 280 pesos a month (about $90 U.S. dollars). There are always the free, state run daycares, which are a godsend to many of Argentinas’ working class. Other private daycares offer English classes and computer instruction. But we didn’t come to Argentina for the English, and he’s got his whole life to learn about computers. We’ll take the Argentine folk lessons.


Gordon said...

Blogging twice is a bit much for me!

I am glad to see that you are not pushing Lucas into the computer rut. There is plenty of time for that!

Jacki said...

That is so cool! Are you posting pictures anywhere (am I blind and just not seeing them?)? I would love to see a picture of Lucas in his little smock. And how is Maite doing?

Marcela said...

Queridos Joy, Luis y familia!

primero que nada, feliz cumple retrasado, Luis! andabamos por las Europas y sin internet, pero igual nos acordamos de ti!

segundo, nos encanta el blog! Joy, me encanta tu perspectiva de la Argentina, y nos encanta seguir sus aventuras.

aqui nosotros todos medio desvelados y cansados pero muy contentos por el viaje tan lindo que hicimos. Llegamos ayer a la tarde, despues de 22 horas de vieje y desvelo pero fue maravilloso... Voy a ver si me da el tiempo para poner algo en mi blog tambien.

Justo ahorita nos estabamos acordando que hace un anio estabamos en Wyoming en la cabania, que rapido se pasa el tiempo, no?

les mandamos besos y abrazos, extraniandolos como siempre

Marce y Ale

Anonymous said...

The school sounds just right for Lucas. I'm sure you're more interested in him learning Argentine folklore than how to maneuver a computer mouse! The best teacher for that, when the time comes, is Lucas's father.

And Jacki's right: where are the pictures of Lucas in his smock?

Teddy (Mom)

Anonymous said...

An ENTIRE nation of sleep-deprived children and adults?????? No wonder Argentines are cranky and nothing every gets done. WOWWWWWW.

Wish we were there, you all look very happy. Hugs, Krista